You could be forgiven for missing an unexciting news headline last month. A small cruise ship bound for some chilly northern waters got waylaid in Norfolk for repairs.
What we didn’t realize when that headline hit the news stations was that this ship was full of vacationing north-pole residents: ELVES. In the month since they landed in Norfolk, they’ve made downtown their home and brought a ton of their signature joyful cheer with them.
The keen eye will be able to spot 100 different elf doors hidden among the hustle and bustle of downtowns dozens of restaurants, offices, and retail establishments. These new elvish residents have helped make Downtown Norfolk the best place to experience the holiday hoopla in the region.
In addition to scavenger hunting the elf doors, visitors to downtown have a lot to look forward to. Winterfest at Nauticus has illuminated the entire harbor with the fully decked halls of the USS Wisconsin. Walking through the wonderland of holiday lights aboard downtown Norfolk’s iconic battleship is an adventure for all ages.
Ice skating has made its return to the MacArthur Mall green space to the delight of the figure skaters, hockey players, and Hallmark movie fanatics inside all of us. A grove of Christmas trees in a cheerful mix of colors accompanies the rink and is perfect for Instagram backdrops.
Waterside has taken inspiration from the new short and jolly downtown residents to create a full-on Christmas pop-up bar. The Miracle on Waterside is a floor-to-ceiling holiday hullabaloo. Every inch of the bar is covered in your favorite kitsch and kringle, from elves on shelves to hidden Christmas pickles. The custom Christmas cocktails and snacks are the star on top of the tree 😉
Down in Selden Market, the region’s best spot to get local and unique gifts, a magical model train town has sprouted up. Multiple lines are running through an island with real smoke coming from the smokestacks, precious Christmas cargo, and interactive small-town scenes.
The cherry on top of the seasonal shenanigans has got to be the phenomenal performances of A Christmas Carol going down at Wells Theater. The ornate historic theater is the perfect setting for the classic Dickens tale. The snow blower outside before the start of the show is *chef’s kiss* perfection.
The Elves have moved in downtown and brought a ton of joy and merriment. Get the family and get downtown for the holidays ‘cause there’s no place like the hometown for the holidays.
For a full list of downtown holiday activities, check out the DNC website here.